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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:33 am 
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So, I've mentioned a few times that I've caught a worldbuilding bug, but because of a snag, one world has suddenly ballooned out into at least three. The one I'd like to work on leans heavily on "realism," but lacks a solid hook or much in the way of whimsy.

But I don't feel like I can just drop the other two, so I thought I might post about ideas I have for them here, as I try to hammer them out into a cohesive whole. Maybe it might interest some people to read about, or perhaps attract a bit of help in ironing out the kinks. They might even be compatible with one another, but they'll both need a lot of work for it.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:33 am 
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The world of Forms



Some Universal Laws of Orgathra


Dragons of the Formless Fire


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:35 am 
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The following is copy/pasted from most of what I had written as my "world bible" for my weird world of stolen concepts. Let's just call it Ultea for now, based on that one story of dragons I wrote.

The Basic Layout of Ultea


I'll post more later, since this is probably already a lot to sift through. I apparently planned out quite a bit of this Ultea, but I'll need to look through it myself since I barely remember ever working on it.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:39 pm 
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I was going to let this sit for a day or two, but I figure I might as well ramble a bit about the elements I've been thinking about.

The Possible Elements of Orgathra


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:20 pm 
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The following is a timeline I had been putting together for Orgathra before re-discovering the Ultea world, so a lot of it is based kind of directly off of a previously-written story which was meant for that world (this is where I actually pulled the name "Ultea" from). As a result, it's kind of a confused mess because I was already working on a timeline while working out an evolutionary tree for various humanoid races I wanted to include. Most of it will need to be trashed, but I figured I'd post it anyway because there's some interesting tidbits in there.

A confused timeline of Orgathra


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 8:58 pm 
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It's been a little longer than I meant to since I've posted about this. I should fix that.

Since I never actually named this plane originally, I'm substituting Ultea in where it's appropriate, as I had a placeholder in several places.
some descriptions of the realms of Ultea


Glancing through that, I'm no longer sure my two world ideas are compatible, but then again that is why I'm posting about it. I forgot how large I wanted Ultea to be, and the timeline I thought up for Orgathra can't work with what I've got here. There's still all sorts of missing information, of course, so we'll see what comes of it. I might re-incorporate Orgathra into my more structured personal plane (the one with evolutionary lines for the humanoid races).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:02 pm 
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There's honestly more I should be posting about Ultea (since I still have several more documents that I wrote years ago, besides the clearly open areas I left myself to develop), but I'm creeping ever closer to the point where I just post publicly the entire way through designing a world, and am wondering if I should post about the original world which I split off from Orgathra -- the one I have been designing a cladogram for.

Mostly, I worry that it's not the right fit for the M:EM. Magic's entire multiverse of soft magic and (nearly) infinite settings is perfect for putting character drama first since we can so easily put characters in situations that test their morals or resolve by simply taking them to another plane designed specifically for that purpose, but what I want to do is grind all the soft edges to hard points, and that sounds like it would be at odds with our purpose.

Much the same could probably be said about Orgathra, but I feel like it has more of a right because of its whimsy; that it's weird enough that there would be some out-there element, like the dragons being "the Formless Fire," that would present an interesting situation to bounce someone's character off of.

Another big problem, though, is that as I said before it's being pulled in different directions. I've been wondering for several weeks whether the concept of evolution can exist side-by-side with the concept of Platonic Forms. I'd love to actually have my cake and eat it too, forming evolutionary trees to figure out how various humanoid races are related to each other, while also having some unseen celestial realm where fire=dragons exist, but the more I impose science onto the world, the less I can get a grasp on what magic means to it.

--------

Related to the above, but more on-topic, because of Highschool of the Dead (and how little they care to keep to their own lore on how zombies work), I've had a few flitting thoughts on how I would design my own version of zombies.

I don't think I've ever said (but I may have made apparent), but I really don't find zombies, or the undead in general, appealing. Actually I tend to ignore large sections of :b:'s color pie when I'm thinking up worlds, because a lot of the go-to creature types and spell effects feel so one-dimensional to me.

While originally meant to be part of a series of vignettes re-examining common magic effects as hard magic systems, A Lesson in Necromancy was an attempt at bringing an interesting (to me) angle to your typical reanimation. In it, I imagined the raised dead to be more-or-less neutral, equally capable of being benevolent or malevolent based on the predilections of the spirit being used to reanimate the body.

I'd like to return to that concept, because trying to imagine zombies as mostly physical entities hurts my brain. I keep wondering where the impetus of movement would come from. Why would it lie in the brain, when the brain would rot away fairly quickly? I should look up ancient beliefs about the brain, to see if there's any inspiration to be gleaned there that might fit in better with Orgathra's use of the soul.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:21 pm 
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Huh, so I ended up looking into Ancient Egyptian theology/culture a bit today, and discovered that they believed in a 9-part soul, which included the physical body, the heart (as separate from the rest of the body), an "astral self," and a shape-shifting entity to act as the go-between for the astral and physical bodies, among other things.

It made me realize that I've been looking at things from a too... I guess Christian perspective? It solves a lot of problems I thought I was having with Forms and undead and such, if the soul & body are not the ONLY parts that make up a being.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:30 pm 
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I was hit with a bit of inspiration the other day, and put some of it to paper.

Demons of Orgathra


There's more boiling in my head about how demons work (such as some fashion of procreation) and what "kinds" of demons there are (like the animal ones hinted at), but I find it hard to write it all down. Between this and the entry on Dragons, I've started coming around to the idea of sticking with the World of Forms and re-incorporating it back into my original worldbuilding plan, which would mean messing around with the race list, among other things.

For the most part, I just want to make a world full of the races and creatures which I enjoy and exclude those that I don't, like how I've mentioned my issues with vampires or zombies as a race. As I've been looking up things to get inspiration, though, I've noticed that Greek mythology just has a lot of beasties that I like, and I'm thinking of focusing on Greek creatures and influence in addition to the above. Either way, I think I'm going to end up with a more Final-Fantasy-feeling world in the end, but we'll have to see where this leads.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:50 pm 
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Getting more attached to the World of Forms idea, but I'm having a difficult time reconciling it with the creature types I'd like to include.

Like, for instance, as equivalent to the established Angels, Dragons, and Demons, I'd like to include Sphinxes, but since they're clearly hybrid mythological creatures, I find it hard to imagine them being directly from a celestial world only filled with true shapes. One possibility I was entertaining today was if Sphinxes were the physical embodiment of an abstract concept -- specifically, the idea of "knowledge is power" and that they would get larger as they learned -- but it doesn't feel like that jives with what I originally wanted (not that I have a firm grasp on "what I wanted").

As I was mentally exploring the characteristics of a Sphinx, though, I hit upon another neat little concept that I'd like to build on: each iconic (because I shouldn't kid myself that I'm not expressly filling out the iconic spaces) is driven primarily by one of the 7 deadly sins:

  • Dragons are primarily driven by gluttony, always driven to consume more
  • Demons are primarily driven by greed, for ill as much as good, since they grow wiser and more possessive with age to the point where they will grow and protect their "flock"
  • Angels, once mortals of a race that ruled the world, have become such absolutists that wrath would define them
  • Sphinxes, in this hypothetical, would be driven primarily by pride, making several creatures in their image (catfolk, harpies, griffons, etc.)

I'd probably do some fine-tuning and mixing, such as maybe a sub-theme of envy from the Angels as they long for what was once theirs during their mortal lives, but it's an easy-to-apply template over them that guides my thoughts in interesting directions.


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